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[Savannah-hackers-public] Requirement to provide the cross-compiler tool

From: Sylvain Beucler
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] Requirement to provide the cross-compiler toolchain
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 23:32:21 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17+20080114 (2008-01-14)


P.Kharitonov, from project "stribog", asks:

<<<<< tells that a
GPL-compliant distribution should include e.g. the cross-compiler

Thus, in the case of stribog, gEDA, avr-libc, GNU binutils and GCC
should be added to the source tarball. I'm in doubt whether to waste
savannah space or to find another hosting service to distribute the
project in a GPL-conformant way.

That page indeed says:

What kind of source code do I have to publish under the GNU GPL?
- What about the compiler, the toolchain?

The GPL explicitly states:

"However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not
include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or
binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on)
of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that
component itself accompanies the executable."

Clearly, this paragraph is written for userspace programs running on
existing general purpose operating systems. So if you have only
distributed such programs, then you do not need to include compiler,
kernel, linker, and so on.

Particularly in the case of cross-compilation for embedded platforms,
the cross compiler for your specific hardware is very likely not
something that is "normally distributed with ... the operating

Therefore, in such cases, you have to provide the the exact version of
your compiler toolchain that was used to create the executables that
you have distributed. Please note that in most cases this will be GNU
GCC, which is itself GPL licensed, so the GPL obligations will in turn
apply to the toolchain, and you must release the complete
corresponding source code to it as well.

Such a requirement sounds weird to me; for example I know of MS
Windows-only GPL'd projects that only compile with MS VC++, and I
never saw requirements to redistribute VC++ under the GPL.

Can you comment on this FAQ?



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